Trust in Electronics
As consumers nowadays, we place a lot of trust in the electronics we use on a daily basis. Whether it be our phones, computers or other smart devices, technology plays a large role in day-to-day life. But what happens when that technology we’ve grown to trust turns against us?
For one couple in Cincinnati, Ohio, keeping their toddler safe was a top priority. Therefore, they purchased a baby monitor with the hopes of always being aware of their daughter’s antics. However, one night something happened that would change their perception of technology forever.
The Voice on the Monitor
As the couple was settling in for the evening, the toddler’s mother heard a chilling voice she didn’t recognize filter through the baby monitor. Was someone in the room with her child? You won’t believe this terrifying story of technology gone rogue.
The Joy of Being Parents
For Heather and Adam Shreck, being new parents was a wonderful experience. They had always wanted their own child and when their daughter came into their lives it was a joyous occasion. Of course, being new parents, they were naturally overprotective, which led Heather to go above and beyond to make sure her little girl was safe.
Baby Monitor Deluxe
Therefore, Heather purchased a high-end baby monitor, fully equipped with a digital camera, so she could always see and hear her 10-month-old daughter, even when she wasn’t in the room. It was a wonderful accessory for the new parents and they appreciated the extra security.
The features of the baby monitor were a real draw to the young couple. Not only could it be accessed via their phones, but they could maneuver the camera remotely so they could change the angle in the baby’s nursery and always see what was going on. Even the sound levels could be changed if they so desired.
Isn’t technology amazing?
According to Heather, the device made her feel secure about leaving her daughter. “It can be tough not being in the same room as her, but I didn’t want to become one of those parents who can’t leave their baby alone for five minutes. The baby monitor made me feel good about spending time with my husband because I could always check on her.”
Unfortunately for Heather, that security was about to be shattered.
A Normal Night
It was a normal Saturday night for the couple and after placing their daughter in her crib and making sure the baby monitor was setup properly they both retired to bed. However, things were about to take a terrifying turn.
The Strange Voice
Shortly after midnight, Heather woke to a strange sound on her baby monitor. At first, she thought it was her husband checking on their daughter, so she didn’t think much of it, but then she realized he was still in the room with her…
Listening in the Dark
Holding her breath, Heather listened in the darkness of her room. For a moment, she thought it was possible she had imagined the entire incident, but then there was a crackle over the monitor and a distinct voice sent tingles down her spine.
A Voice on the Monitor
“Wake up, baby!” the voice over the monitor yelled. Heather remembers how the hairs on her arms all stood up and the paralyzing fear that overcame her. She quickly woke her husband, terrified that someone had broken into their home.
Checking Her Phone
Immediately, Heather and Adam pulled up the monitor on their phones via the app to check in on their daughter. They used the remote camera controls to pan around the nursery, fearing that they might find someone else in the room with her.
Could their daughter be in real danger?
A Sigh of Relief
Thankfully, the cameras revealed the baby was alone. But what about the voice? Where did it come from? Adam thought maybe a signal got crossed and they picked up someone else’s phone call. However, the situation was about to escalate proving that theory wrong.
Suddenly, Heather noticed the camera twitch. At first, she thought it was possibly a glitch, but then it began to rotate around the room and move erratically. Terrified, Heather screamed for Adam to get their daughter. Someone was or something was controlling their baby monitor’s camera.
Rushing to the Nursery
Adam didn’t hesitate. He bolted from the bed and rushed down the hall. Heart pounding and pure adrenaline rushing through his veins. The only thing that mattered was getting to his daughter.
As Adam entered the room, he watched as the camera slowly moved and turned in his direction. And what happened next was something straight out of a horror movie.
Threats and Curses
Through the monitor’s speaker, a maniacal man’s voice began to scream at Adam. He threatened, he cursed and let out a tirade of profanities that were absolutely shocking. Not sure what to make of the situation, Adam rushed toward his daughter.
Disabling the Monitor
After grabbing the toddler from her crib, Adam immediately unplugged the baby monitor and threw it across the room. “It was like I was in a movie. It had to have been the scariest moment of my life. When does something like this happen? It’s insane!”
Calling the Police
Adam and Heather quickly called the police to report the incident, fearing that someone could be watching them from close by. How could this have happened? Heather began to fear all the scenarios that could have played out. Thank god they had woken up when they did.
Safe At Last
When the police arrived they immediately checked the home and the surrounding area. Thankfully, no one was on the premises. They took the baby monitor as a piece of evidence to investigate the situation and what they discovered was shocking.
According to the police, the baby monitor had been set up through the Wi-Fi, which made it easily hackable. It seemed someone had gained access through their router and had found a way to hack into the baby monitor.
Story Goes Viral
When the couple’s story hit the news, it sent shockwaves throughout the media. People used baby monitors to keep their children safe, now it was possible they could be used to target the innocent by anonymous creepers?
Experts Weigh In
According to tech experts, a firmware glitch inside the camera had allowed the sophisticated hacker to obtain the passwords to the monitor. Not only could he watch and hear the baby, but he could interact with her as well through the speaker.
A Shocking Truth
Adam and Heather reached out to the manufacturer of the baby monitor and explained their situation. And what they learned was pretty shocking. According to the makers of the monitor, this wasn’t the first time a situation like this had occurred. How comforting…
How Long Had He Been Spying?
In an evening report by Nancy Grace, she expressed outrage and concern for how long this man had been able to access the couple’s monitor and view their daily lives. It definitely was a disturbing thing to think about.
Watching in Silence
“How many times did he watch the baby get breastfed, changed or sleep?” Nancy stated on her show. “This creep had complete access to their home, how does something like this even happen?”
A Not-So-Secure World
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is, that despite the positives technology brings to our lives it can also be very dangerous without the proper security.
So, what can we do?
Don’t Trust the Default
According to tech experts, you should never use the default password provided on your electronic devices. You want to change it to a secure phrase only you would know. It’s also important to not use the same password across multiple platforms. Changing your password regularly is also recommended.
Violated and Exposed
For Heather and Adam, they definitely feel like the situation was an eye-opening experience, but it also left them feeling personally violated and exposed. Why anyone would hack into their baby monitor and violate their privacy was beyond their understanding.
A Warning Message
Adam and Heather hope that a positive takeaway from their story is the importance of security. You should never just blindly trust the electronic devices you bring into your home. You never know when something might go terribly wrong.
Here’s looking at you, Alexa!